Philippines peace activist Jerome Aba is speaking out after he was held for 28 hours by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officials at San Francisco International Airport last week before being denied entry into the United States. Aba says the border agents accused him of being a terrorist, ordered him to strip naked, denied him food for nearly 24 hours and then offered him only pork to eat, in an insult to his Muslim faith. This is Jerome Aba describing the ordeal.
Jerome Aba: “When I arrived at the San Francisco airport, they immediately took me and handcuffed me. Then they interrogated me, until they deported me back to the Philippines. They asked me again and again if I am a terrorist, if I am a communist. This, I denied. I am not a terrorist. I am an activist.”
Jerome Aba had been scheduled to tour the U.S. to speak out about Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte’s bloody war on drugs, which human rights groups say has led to the extrajudicial killings of up to 8,000 people. President Trump has cited Duterte’s drug policies favorably, as part of Trump’s push to bring the death penalty to drug dealers.